Negotiating to achieve a workable partnership is difficult. More difficult though, is learning to live with what you’ve created.
Trust and openness – these behaviours arguably make the critical difference between dysfunctional and high-performing partnerships. I’ve found this to be true in public and private sector projects, technical joint ventures and post-merger situations. The negotiation of these partnerships focuses on the purpose and detailed arrangements of the venture. However, the teams accountable for project delivery have had no opportunity to practise the behaviours necessary for success.
In these situations organisations often welcome an intervention to hold a mirror up to the mental models that foster mistrust, even among otherwise well intentioned individuals. In my experience, old mental models will defeat new processes and tools every time!
Of course, clarity of purpose and arrangements is important. However, if you really want the best project and partnership outcomes, then truly aligned teams are essential.